Ireland’s Shane Lowry is at the top of the U.S. Open leaderboard after three long days and 54 holes on the unapologetic Oakmont course.
The 29-year-old Irishman only has one PGA Tour victory, but finds himself on the verge of his first major win, with a four-shot lead heading into Sunday’s final round. Lowry is seven under par after a career-low round of 65 in the third round.
He has approached the challenging course of Oakmont with a rare combination: a tough mindset, yet relaxed attitude.
There’s mounting pressure on Lowry, who is staring at a chance to win his first major, however he has been able to keep his nerves at bay.
“I want to enjoy it,” he said. “I have a [four-stroke] lead at the U.S. Open on Sunday. Where in the world would I rather be than here?”
He believes his laid-back mentality has helped him find success on the daunting Oakmont course, which is known to eat at a player’s nerves.
“I’ve never felt so comfortable and confident,” he said.
Lowry has said in the past, “It’s every golfer’s dream to win a major and I’m no different.”
On Sunday, he may realize that dream. Lowry’s four-stroke lead places him in great position to take home his first major championship.
History is in his favor. In 65 majors played since 2000, major champions have come from four back only eight times.
If Lowry can pull through with a win, he would bring Irish golf its 10th major in the past 10 years and third U.S. Open since 2010. Lowry would join elite company: Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell.
McDowell won the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, where he ended a 40-year drought for Europeans at the tournament. He has 13 career wins as a professional and has played in four Ryder Cups.
McIlroy won the 2011 U.S. Open held at Congressional in Bethesda, Maryland winning by eight strokes over Jason Day.
McIlroy and McDowell are both from Northern Ireland. Lowry was born in Clara, County Offaly, Ireland. Lowry would become the first player from the Republic of Ireland to win the U.S. Open.